CUTTACK: The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has asked an RTI applicant to deposit Rs 2.07 lakh towards furnishing audit reports of 19 years. The cost estimated includes two months’ salary for two persons who could be engaged to count pages of the reports.
An August 8, Dillip Kumar Mohapatra, an advocate, had submitted an application in form A of RTI Act seeking information on all audit reports including LFA, AG and Special Audit from April 1, 2000 to March 31, 2019.
In response to the application, CMC’s Finance Officer sent a letter to Mohapatra through the Public Information Officer (PIO) asking him to deposit Rs 2,07,180 including two months’ salary of two persons towards counting pages of audit reports and the cost of photocopies.
While the cost of photocopies of the audit reports would be around Rs 1,20,000, the two months’ salary of two persons to be engaged for the purpose would be Rs 87,180, the letter added.
The audit reports comprised voluminous set of papers and would require time to count the pages, the letter said. Two persons shall be engaged to count all the pages and its photocopies carefully which will take at least two months, it added.
The CMC Finance Officer’s letter has not gone down well with RTI activists. While there is no provision to demand salary towards engaging persons for supplying information under RTI Act and the number of pages of audit reports is yet to be counted, how can the public authority ask to deposit Rs 2,07,180 for information? questioned some activists.
Alleging that CMC officials are trying to defeat the aims and objectives of the RTI Act, Mohapatra said he will approach the CMC Commissioner in this regard.